- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 2, 2012

Now that right tackle Jammal Brown’s availability for the 2012 season is in doubt, the bill on the five-year, $27.5 million contract the Redskins gave him in July 2011 seems close to coming due.

There remains $4.4 million of guaranteed bonus money on Brown’s deal, according to a source with knowledge of the contract. That’s a lot for a 31-year-old lineman who is out indefinitely with two ailing hips. Of course, at the time the Redskins agreed to terms with Brown, they expected to have $36 million more salary cap space than they have now.

Brown is scheduled to count $4.553 million against the salary cap in 2012, but he would count only $1.1 million if the Redskins released him before this season. That’s $3.453 million in savings.

In that scenario, however, Brown’s remaining $3.3 million in bonus money would count against the Redskins’ cap in 2013, a year in which they are scheduled to absorb an $18 million penalty.

The $3.3 million hit in 2013 also would apply if the Redskins placed Brown on injured reserve before this season and released him any time before June 1, 2013. It also would apply if Brown retired.

If the Redskins waited until after June 1, 2013 to release Brown, he’d count $1.1 million against the 2013 cap and $2.2 million against 2014. That scenario could be attractive because the Redskins’ salary cap penalties expire in 2013.

As the Redskins decide what to do with Brown, they must consider whether they need the $3.453 million of 2012 cap space they would save by releasing him. Any remaining free agents or players cut in September wouldn’t be expensive additions.

Another option: Washington could keep Brown and his $4.553 million cap number on the roster all season, see if he could get healthy, decide on his status after next June 1 and possibly save $1.1 million on their penalty-reduced 2013 cap. And if Brown were to get healthy (unlikely since he hasn’t been healthy since his hip surgery in 2009), then the Redskins have a backup tackle.

Brown’s contract calls for a nonguaranteed 2012 base salary of $3.25 million. He’ll get $191,176 for each week he’s on the active roster, reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list or injured reserve.

Balmer still missing

Kentwan Balmer’s absence continues to be a question mark around Redskins Park. The defensive end wasn’t in attendance Wednesday or Thursday, and coach Mike Shanahan had no more details as to Balmer’s whereabouts.

“You’re always concerned. You’re just hoping he’s OK. He cleared everything out of the hotel and that usually means, at least my past experience, is a guy doesn’t want to play football anymore,” he said. “But that’s not always the case. So I hate to say something. All I know is we haven’t had a chance to speak with him yet.”

Shanahan called him “missing in action.” Balmer has done that before, not reporting to San Francisco’s camp in 2010. He was subsequently traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Redskins went through an AWOL situation with running back James Davis a year ago when he left the team and was released. Balmer, 25, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2008, appeared in just three games for the Redskins last season.

Gano on Chick-fil-A

Kicker Graham Gano appeared to make at least something of a political statement Thursday when he posted to his Twitter account the message “Proudly supporting Chick-fil-A today” accompanied by a photo of several items from the fast-food restaurant. The post was deleted soon after.

Wednesday was Chick-fil-A appreciation day as ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee publicized and others wanted to show support for CEO Dan Cathy, who made comments against same-sex marriage. Gano declined comment about the Twitter post.

Griffin’s preseason plan

Shanahan said he plans on giving quarterback Robert Griffin III the same playing time routine as the rest of the Redskins’ starters this preseason.

“I’m using that first game anywhere from 12 to 20 plays. The second game they usually play a half,” Shanahan said. “The third preseason game, I usually play a series into the third quarter, sometimes I’ll get them out there at half depending on the number of plays. Fourth game, they don’t play. That’s what I’ve done in the past.”

Asked if it mattered that Griffin was a rookie, Shanahan responded: “Doesn’t matter who it is.”

Extra points

• Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong suffered a shoulder injury Thursday. Shanahan said it was an AC joint injury and Armstrong would get X-rays.

• Safety DeJon Gomes missed practice with a sore shoulder and will be out 2-3 days.

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